Maidan Commemorating the Fallen Heroes
By Myroslava Stadnyk
Toronto, Canada – On March 30, 2014, Ukrainian Canadians of Toronto have attended Maidan held by the Toronto’s City Hall to pay tributes to the fallen heroes of the Ukrainian revolution.
Over a thousand people attending the demonstration as they joined together in by prayer, honouring the “heavenly hundred” – heroes who sacrificed their lives for Ukraine’s freedom on the Independence Square in Kyiv. During the memorial service, the onstage priest reminded that March 30th marks 40 days since the violent clashes in Ukrainian capital have ended in the loss of lives.
“Today we honour these people, these fallen, who have given their blood and their lives. These determined in their hearts people who believed that standing up for their country is right. They are the patriots. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” – spoke out one of the delegation members who has visited the Maidan alongside Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and PM Stephen Harper this month.
A very special guest of the Panahyda-Maidan included Yulia Marushevska, a student whose two-minute “I am Ukrainian” YouTube video message has been watched by over eight million people across the globe. She addressed to the crowd, thanking the Ukrainian Canadian community for their continuous support and commitment in during the difficult times in Ukraine.
“I would like to thank all Ukrainian Canadians for being with us for all of this time, and I would like everyone present here today to know that the people in Ukraine are grateful – as your support has been tremendously important during the revolution.” Marushevska also added the Toronto’s Ukrainian community is an inspiration, demonstrating to the entire world that the Ukrainian people are not and should not be left alone in their fight for freedom.
As well, Ukraine’s well-known artists Maria Burmaka and Serhiy ‘Foma’ Fomenko (of Mandry), were part of Toronto’s Maidan on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Their performances included songs dedicated to heroes of the revolution, reflecting on the deeper meanings of live and death.
There were flowers laid out in the memory of the dead. People also lit candles and placed them around the photos of the fallen heroes. Toronto’s Maidan, mourning those who died during the violent police riots, has brought much of an emotional testament. “Every hero from the ‘heavenly hundred’ made me realize that each of them represents the whole Ukraine – from east to west, north to south – peoples of different professions and spoken languages, combined by one goal. And that goal is dignity,” said Yulia Kyrychenko, 25, holding a candle in her hand. “They united us,” – she added, – “we should never forget the high price they have paid in giving our people a chance to become a true nation.”